How To Sell Soap

Exactly no one is excited about cleaning their clothes or scrubbing a stain from the carpet. If you own a pet, you never look forward to their accidents on the rug or their decision to put their dirty paws on your best trousers. Cleaning up messes, figuring out how to get that stain off the couch cushion, getting the carpets cleaned, these are chores we all do, but we don’t look forward to them. It’s just a part of life, like cutting the grass or cleaning the gutters. No one goes on lawn care vacations or stain removal holidays.

If you are in the business of selling soap, you have to get over the fact that the mere mention of your product makes people think about a boring task or the dog leaving a pyramid on the rug.  No matter how good your product is at doing its thing, if it brings negative images to the mind of the customer, they will associate you and your product with unpleasant thoughts. It why portable toilet vendors pick cheeky names for their companies. They want you laughing when you think of them.

The infomercial guys, who sell miracle cleaners, are good examples of people who understands how this works. They are super upbeat and they do small things to flatter the viewer. “You have frequent parties and one of your guests spills red wine on your brand new carpet!” He’s saying you have good tastes and people like you, which is why everyone comes to your house to be sophisticated and cool. It’s cheesy, but flattery works for a reason. The pitchman makes his audience feel good about the sale.

These guys also know how to avoid negative associations. They love using the red wine example, even though their typical customers drink domestic beer from a can. Well, red wine is a stand-in for blood. If they used a severed hand to drip blood on the white cloth, people would be horrified and associate the product with a negative image. No one fondly remembers getting their hand caught in the snowblower. Instead, the pitchman uses wine and all the happy talk about you being the cool kid on the block with lots of parties.

The thing is, everyone has had a mishap. You’re working around the house, something goes wrong and you’re running for the first aid kit. In the process you made the hall carpet look like a crime scene. Or, you’re at work and you don’t notice the paper-cut and now you have blood on your favorite shirt. That miracle product to get the red wine stain out is just what you need, but you don’t want to be is reminded of it by the happy pitchman on television. It’s why the good pitchman avoids creating negative associations.

Even the high energy super-positive TV pitchmen runs into a problem of negative associations. That’s because Americans associate the lone pitchman with the grifter, the con artist and the guy who takes advantage of the foolish. That’s because we have a long tradition of these guys. The snake oil salesman, the patent medicine salesman, various door-to-door salesman, are all stock characters for the disreputable sharpie who blows into town and sells you a monorail.

You may be the most honest guy on earth, but as soon as you get out there to sell your soap as the fast talking pitchman, most people are going to think you are, at the minimum, a liar. It’s unfair and unjust, but you will never change that perception. You can be the most honest and forthright soap salesman on earth, but that view of you and your kind is etched into the culture. It’s why those TV guys always rely on allegedly objective authorities or unimpeachable demonstrations. They know you don’t trust them.

Life is unfair sometimes.

The point of all this is that if you want to sell a product, you have to avoid associating it with negative images held by the public. That means you are going to have to use red wine instead of a severed hand to demonstrate stain removal. No, you will not be true to your faith, but you will get customers. You also have to accept the fact that a lot of stuff happened before you came along. If you associate yourself with confidence men of the past, people are going to assume you are a con-man too. That’s reality.

Good salesmen never lose sight of reality. That’s the problem with outsider political movements. They allow themselves to be trapped in narrow ideological ruts so any sales effort, that deviates in the slightest from dogma, results in civil war. The only pitchmen the ideologues accept are the guys waving around the severed hand, talking about how their product is great at cleaning blood stains. Any concession to public sensibilities is treated like heresy. The result is a self-ghettoization of the movement.

This has always been the problem with the libertarians. You can get a large audience in favor of limiting state regulation of commerce, but you are never getting a critical mass around the idea of abandoning paper money. You can talk people into loosening up marijuana laws, but no one is signing up for legal meth sales. That’s why the limit on libertarians is to have some of their language appropriated by Buckleyites. Otherwise, they are seen as a collection of eccentric weirdos.

That’s what’s happening with the alt-right and its fellow travelers. The core believers refuse to give in on basic tactics, like banning Nazi gear or minimizing the JQ stuff. The result is anyone that tries to soften the image is attacked as a traitor. That’s what you see with the Stormies. Anglin can’t accept even the token compromises at a site like Gab, so he goes to war with it. This ensures that his followers never stray from the ghetto that he has created for them. It also means potential recruits have a reason to ignore him.

This does not mean the alt-right is condemned to having fat guys in their tighty-whities, dancing around at their events. To avoid that fate, they need to produce leaders with the credibility to swat down guys like Anglin, when he gets out of control, but also aware of the fact that growing the movement means appealing to the general public. That means softening the pitch and making some compromises. They don’t have anyone capable of doing that at he moment, but they better find some.

Absentee Strangers

Walking through the residential neighborhoods of Bethesda, where many of our managerial class luminaries live, it is common to see little brown men working the business end of a leaf blower. Over many years, I’ve never spotted a black working on one of these landscaping crews. In fact, I’ve never spotted a college boy doing this sort of work either. It is always Atahualpa and his men. Today, even the Conquistador Americans prefer to have Amerinds raking their lawns, rather than Americans.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that the housekeepers and nannies are never black or white. Instead, you see East Asian nannies and Mexican housekeepers. The housekeepers don’t look like Incas. They look like the Cholo girls, but paunchy and middle-aged. The nannies are mostly Koreans, but there is an increasing number of Chinese. The hunch here is the subconscious math of crime is at work. Asian women are considered the safest so they can be trusted with kids.

I have this theory that some of what drives this desire for Amerind labor and Asian servants is a weird manifestation of white guilt. A crew of blacks, singing spirituals, while raking leaves would set off mass panic is a place like Bethesda. A thick black women, kitted out like Mammy, dotting on the youngins, would probably kill the typical SWPL in Cloud Country. Ruling class whites simply have no will to face up to the reality of black America, so they systematically exclude it from their lives, with the use of foreigners.

This denial of reality also would explain the lack of whites working as domestics. There are plenty of unemployed white girls who could be trained to clean houses and tend to small children. The same is true for landscaping and residential work. The presence of working class whites, however, would fill the Cloud People with angst. It would be a daily reminder that for all but the grace of the void where God used to exist, that could be the life of the lady of the house. Who needs to be reminded of class reality in their own home!

I was reminded of this when I saw this Noah Millman post on the American Conservative website. It’s a post about the death of free speech in India, of all places. The idea that speech was ever open in India, or anywhere outside the English speaking world, is ludicrous on its face. It’s just another example of the blinkered universalism that prevents our elites from understanding much about the world. The point of the post is that free speech is under assault, even in bastions of liberalism like India.

I looked for his twitter feed, but came up empty. I was going to suggest he perform the same analysis on another foreign country, by delving into the tech giant’s efforts to suppress political speech in America. While the snake charmers and call center staffers in Tamil Nadu are important, most readers of Millman care more about what’s happening in civilization. Exactly nothing changes about the world if Indians lose whatever civil liberties they enjoy at the moment. It does matter if the lights go out in the West.

It is much easier to be pious and self-righteous about the world when you focus on problems beyond the horizon. You get to fret over the state of civil liberties in a place like India, without ever being expected to do anything about it. Of course, criticizing some foreign potentate brings no risk. Millman writing a broadside against the Washington Post’s proselytizing for Progressive causes risks future employment. Going after Google for sand-boxing alt-right videos is a bit too dangerous, so he focuses on the foreign.

This deliberate self-alienation by our elites is probably what drives their zeal for open borders. Those Cloud People in their seven figure homes don’t know any working class whites. They’ve never met a man who makes a living driving a truck or running a tow motor in a warehouse. They do know Garbonzo, the guy they see cutting their grass in the summer. Their kid’s Korean nanny, whose daughter plays the flute, is someone they know and bond with across class lines. The Dirt People, on the other hand, are strangers.

This would also explain why our political class has such a tin ear about economics. The Cloud People think smoke stacks and industrial parks are ugly. They think office parks are ugly, which is why they are building their compounds to look like the college campus or the lair of a super villain. Logically, they just assume that getting rid of these hideous eyesores is what everyone wants. The fact that it results in the white working class falling to pieces goes unnoticed. It’s how this guy is considered an expert on the working class.

Our modern form of  bureaucratic capitalism, which tries to bend the marketplace to the whims of the central planners, may end up having a defect similar to what plagued English authority in Ireland. Prior to the Irish Land Acts, the bulk of Irish farmland was owned by English landlords, who did not live in Ireland. Therefore, they had no stake in the local economy, beyond what they could extract. The result was that Ireland was a net exporter of food during the Irish Famine. This system is largely blamed for The Troubles.

The BQ

We live in an age of great inequality. In fact, some economist think America may have greater inequality now than at any time in human history. Americans don’t think about it too much, as generations of indoctrination about class envy have made questioning such things seem un-American. That and the middle-class may be swamped with debt, but they have all the trappings of prosperity. Even poor people in this country are fat. People tend to worry about how much the rich man has, only when their bellies are growling.

Few people on the Dissident Right have much to say about economics. The main reason, obviously, is that demographics and multiculturalism take up most of the space. A big part of the aesthetic is ignoring the trivial things like tax policy, in order to remain focused on the bigger topics that are assiduously ignored by our rulers. That and the subject is full of libertarian hucksters, peddling apologies for globalism and the billionaire class. They have framed the topic in such a way that it is impossible to say anything meaningful.

Progressives in American and Leftists in Europe have always argued that inequality is immoral on its face. They may not use that phrasing, but that is the underlying assumption behind their arguments for taxing the rich and redistributing wealth. Perhaps that can be debated, but there’s little doubt that great inequality brings with it great social and political change. A society with relatively small differences in wealth, where there is economic equilibrium, is unlikely to lurch into unrest or reckless adventures.

When Henry VIII ascended the throne in 1509, he became king of a country that could be described as a three-legged stool. The Church held 25-30% of the land in the country and had a monopoly on moral authority. The aristocracy, including the king, held an equal amount of land, but had a monopoly on secular authority. The rest of the land was owned by the commoners and petty nobles, who had the advantage of numbers. The result was a balance of power between the three key elements of English society.

Henry is best known for his serial adultery and his habit of having wives sent to the gallows, but his biggest contribution is the destruction of the Church as a force in British political and economic life. The Acts of Supremacy, passed in 1534, recognized the King’s status as head of the church in England and, with the Act in Restraint of Appeals in 1532, abolished the right of appeal to Rome. The king had effectively assumed the moral authority that had once been the monopoly of the Catholic Church

This was made possible by the oldest of political tactics. When Henry seized Church lands, he used these to buy support from other nobles, as well as large land holders who also sat in Parliament. Naturally, Parliament was strongly in favor of not only seizing Church lands, but supporting their good friend, the King, in his efforts to assert his authority over the Church. When he seized Church lands, the crown ended the economic power of the Church and used the proceeds to assume the moral authority of the Church.

This had a radical effect on the politics and culture of England. Hilaire Belloc argued in The Servile State that it was this reorganization of capital in England that gave birth to capitalism. In this case, capital was land. When land was distributed between the people, the state and the church, the concentrated use of capital was impossible. Once the crown and nobility seized the property of the Church, capital was for the first time concentrated in a small number of hands. This allowed the propertied class to dominate English society.

This was clear after Henry VIII died. A dozen years of turmoil followed his death. Edward VI never made it to adulthood. Lady Jane Grey was queen for nine days until Mary I, with support of the nobles, deposed her. Bloody Mary made it five years before dying and then began the reign of Elizabeth I. This also corresponded with the birth of the British Empire. Whether or not any of this would have happened if Henry had not sacked the Church is debatable, but it is clear that the change in English economic order was an inflection point.

Another example is what happened to the Roman Republic after the defeat of Corinth and Carthage. The Republic had been at war with both city-states, off and on, for over a century. In 146 BC, the Romans finally defeated and destroyed Carthage and then provoked a war with the Greeks. They defeated the Greeks at Corinth, destroying the city and its population. The male population was killed and the females and children were sold into slavery. Rome was the undisputed power in the Mediterranean.

Something else happened. Those slaves that poured into the Republic from the conquered lands first ended up in the hands of the wealthiest landowners. This influx of cheap labor allowed the large land holders to replace their native labor, which flowed into the cities, not having anywhere else to go. The small landowners suddenly found themselves at a disadvantage, as the larger landowners had an army of slaves to work their land. The result was a great economic re-ordering of the Roman Republic.

It is not an accident that this sudden change in political and economic of fortune changed the nature of the Republic. The constant campaigning created a class of soldier that was more loyal to his general than to the Republic. The turning over of large tracts of land to slave farming resulted in a new problem, slave revolts. The Servile Wars, the Social War and two civil wars dominated the Late Republic. It has this title because the Republic came to an end with Julius Caesar and the founding of the Roman Empire under Octavian.

The relevance of all this to our age should be obvious to those who have been following what is going on with our tech oligarchs. A generation ago, Progressive arguments about taxing the rich had no salience, because no one had any real fear of the rich. That and they were not so rich as to feel alien to the rest of us. Today, the billionaire class feels like they are from another planet and more important, they are a real threat. They are advocating for policies that promise to dissolve the ties that bind the nation together.

A popular issue on the Dissident Right is that the old framing of politics, based on the blank slate and egalitarianism, is no longer relevant. Race and demographics are what will define politics going forward. That’s true, but none of that will matter if the West is going to succumb to what amounts to techno-feudalism, where a relatively small number of oligarchs control not only capital, but information. Addressing the threat to free speech means addressing what may be the ultimate red pill, the Billionaire Question.

In order to address the BQ, the Dissident Right is going to have to break free from the old moral paradigm with regards to class, inequality and economics. The fact is, no one will care if Mark Zuckerberg drowns in his bathtub, other than his mail order wife. The same is true of Jeff Bezos. The things that the vast bulk of Americans care about don’t depend on getting cheap stuff on-line at Amazon. The billionaire class is no more essential to society than any other luxury good. They are tolerable unless they become a burden.

That’s going to be hard for our side and it is going to be even more difficult for the sort of people attracted to the Oaf Keepers or the PoofBerries. That’s the effect of a few generations of telling people that it is un-American to think ill of the rich. Even so, part of breaking free from the old thinking will be adopting a new brand of economics, along with tackling the realities of demographics. You can be pro-white all you like, but that’s of no use if you’re a serf living on the modern version of a feudal estate, run by an oligarch.

The Nazi Tar Baby

35 years ago, or so, I sat in history class, as one of my coevals told Father O’Connell that Hitler must have been a liberal because he was a socialist. The old man smiled and said, “Then that would mean Teddy Roosevelt was an actual moose.” It took a minute, but eventually we got the joke and laughed. You can call yourself a leprechaun, but that does not make you a leprechaun. It simply means you are a liar or a lunatic. Politics, and therefore politicians, come in both categories, often simultaneously.

Where to put fascism, especially Nazism, on the political spectrum is a big topic due to the use of Nazi iconography by some dissident movements and the publication of Dinesh D’Souza’s book that claims Hitler was Nancy Pelosi’s grandfather. It’s also important because our Prog masters are making the claim that any resistance to their nation wrecking program is automatically fascism. Everyone is now required to have an opinion about a political movement that stopped being relevant close to 80 years ago.

The first thing to note is that relying on a two-dimensional political spectrum cooked up by 18th century French radicals is not a good way to understand the world. Even the updated Cold War version that places internationalism at one end and nationalism at the other is of little value to our current age. Embracing the ahistorical Progressives worldview that insists history started when American Progressives synthesized their brand of universalism with Cultural Marxism is equally foolish. It leads to nothing but error.

There’s also the problem with the fact that there are no Nazis or fascists today. These movements were outliers that existed in the narrow space book-ended by the Great War on one end and the Second World War on the other. The late historian Ernst Nolte argued that fascism, broadly defined, was a reaction to the violence and mayhem created by the Russian Revolution and the spread of Bolshevism.  It should be noted that Bolshevism was also an outlier movement that has long since died off.

This is a point that Paul Gottfied makes in his book on the history of fascism as a political concept. Note the difference between concept and ideology. An ideology has a tight, well defined set of rules, while a concept is amorphous and changing. Progressive took the dead ideology of fascism and turned into a political concept to include the set of people who oppose the Progressive project. As the opposition adjusted, the definition adjusted to meet the new threat. As a result, fascism is as meaningless as it is non-existent.

Any effort to connect modern political movements to fascism, therefore, is nothing more than rhetoric or cynicism. The conditions in which both fascism and Bolshevism were born no longer exist and are unlikely to exist again. To Western Europeans of the age, the excesses of communism were frightening. It’s eastern origins appeared sinister. The ad-hoc and incoherent response called fascism, to what appeared to many people as a foreign conspiracy to bring down the West, was, in context, quite sensible.

Putting fascism on the “right” end of your antiquated political scale probably makes sense, as it was opposed to what is on the “left” end of that scale. That means, of course, you are embracing a base assumption of Progressives. They argue, as a matter of core morality, that all opposition to them is reactionary and incoherent. Therefore, nothing on the Right can exist in isolation. It can only exists in opposition to the Left. In that regard, they are correct about fascism. It was a devil with an expiry date that has long past.

A more reasonable argument, with regards to fascism and the Western Right, is that fascism was a rearguard action. It was a final last desperate gasp of the old culture before it was destroyed by liberalism. Fascism therefore is a grab bag of items from the ancien regime, bolted onto some modern industrial economics and sold to the public with modern public relations techniques. That would put fascism on the Right, but only when it is defined on a spectrum that has not had relevance for close to a century now.

The fact is, debating the place of fascism and the relevance of Nazism to our current age is a pointless waste of time. It lets grifters like Dinesh D’Souza peddle books to well-meaning normies and it lets internet pranksters generate some laughs, but otherwise, fascism, as a political force, has no relevance in our age. It’s as salient as free silver or calls to restore the king of France. There will always be people clinging to the detritus of past failures, but there are people that believe they are space aliens too.

The great divide today is not over economics. It is biological. The cultural struggle that is developing, therefore, will be how our people will thrive in a world of modern challenges and modern threats. What will drive politics in the West, in the coming decades, is what Steve Sailer calls the world’s most important graph. How to survive as a people in a world dominated by races unable to escape the neolithic without white people, is not something contemplated by Bolsheviks or fascists. Therefore, they offer us nothing of use today.

The debate itself underscores the fact that we are at the end of a cultural cycle, one born in the Great War, defined by the Second World War and formalized during the Cold War. Modernism as a cultural force has come to an end. Those in charge of the brittle husk that is the prevailing orthodoxy keep reaching into their past for villains to maintain support among the faithful. Those in opposition find themselves without fully formed alternatives in the present, so they are rummaging around in the past for whatever they can find.

Regardless, the place of fascism on the political spectrum then or now is as irrelevant as the spectrum itself. The arguments putting the fascists on the Right only make sense in the context of the long gone era in which they were born. Putting them on the Left only makes sense in the context of the dying era, if you are hoping to squeeze a few more bucks out of the Baby Boomer generation. Hitler is irrelevant to the current age and will have no more bearing on what comes next than Genghis Khan or Henry VIII.

The Provacateur

Way back, before the olden thymes, there was a guy calling himself Ken Kesey. He is famous with Baby Boomers for having led the Merry Pranksters, a group of hippies and degenerates, that scandalized American society in the 1960’s. He and his crew drove a psychedelic school bus across country, hosting parties and handing out LSD. Tom Wolfe wrote about their early escapades in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Most people no longer recall that Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

That last fact is important. The movie version of his book is a classic that transcends generations. The movie was released 42 years ago and people still reference it today, even when they don’t know it. It’s like The Godfather or Gone With The Wind. Despite its status, Kesey is best remembered for a bus trip a half century ago. That’s because his provocative hi-jinks came to represent a key element of the counter-culture movement we associate with the 1960’s and the baby Boomer culture that arose from it.

The provocateur has always had a role in human affairs. The court jester, in many respects, was the formalization of this role. The jester was the one person who could mock public piety – to a point. Eventually, the role of the formal jester was replaced by theater and then comedians and writers. The pranksters and now the internet provocateur are an extension of this, and to some degree a revival of the classic jester. Kesey was jester for his age. Today, an Andrew Anglin is the jester of the modern information age.

For those unfamiliar with Anglin, he is the guy behind the infamous website The Daily Stormer, which has been shutdown on numerous occasions. Whether or not it was actually shut down by his registrar is hard to know, but most people believe it and that’s what is important. If it was shut down because it was outlandishly offensive, or he cooked up the story as a prank, is not important. Whether it was provocation or a prank, it has put the spotlight on the very real fact that on-line speech is now controlled by an oligopoly.

That is precisely the role of the provocateur. What Anglin is doing, by running around breaking every conceivable taboo, is forcing a debate on the topic of speech. How much speech will be permitted and who will set and enforce the limits are fundamental questions that determine the arc of a society. In America, it has long been understood that the limits are immediate public safety and they are set after long public deliberation and due process. Everyone is taught the famous line about burning theaters for that reason.

Americans have also just assumed that free expression is to sacred that no one would dare violate it, but that is not where we find ourselves today. The people in charge believe they have found a loophole. They have outsourced policing speech to private companies, who can claim to be enforcing terms of service as private companies. Under the current arrangements, FaceBorg can ban any mention of the country Niger, even though it is perfectly legal to yell “Niger!” in a crowded theater.

That’s the value of an Andrew Anglin. Yes, his pint-sized Nazi routine is tiresome and stupid to most people. His followers on-line are embarrassing to those involved in dissident politics. This was true of hippies and the Merry Pranksters too. Read a guy like David Horowitz and you’ll learn that people in the New Left worried greatly about the loose cannons and provocateurs. In the end they figured out it was best to just let those guys do their thing and not comment on the acts, but focus on the larger moral issues they raised.

That’s how a guy like Andrew Anglin should be treated. You don’t want to be seen standing next to him at a public event, but you do want to be seen supporting his right to attend public events. You don’t want to be paling around with him on-line or posting links to his stuff, but you do want to be the guy defending his right to be a Nazi asshole on the internet. When his antics threaten your assets, you want to be the guy who crushes him like a bug. The jester must always serve at the pleasure of the king.

That’s what some of the important figures in this thing have to learn. Anglin causing trouble on Gab, for example, is fine up to the point where he puts the enterprise in jeopardy. At that point, the owner needs to quietly step on him. Similarly, alt-right big shots would be wise to comment about Anglin and his antics, but not get in bed with him. Anglin is a pyromaniac who can just as easily burn down your house as someone else’s house, so you don’t invite him to stay in your basement, where you keep the flammables.

The thing to remember is provocateurs and jesters are important tools in modern political discourse. The key to victory is to destroy the other side’s moral authority. The most effective way to do that is to mock their piety and taunt them into revealing the face behind the mask they present to the public. When someone loses their marbles over being mocked by an Andrew Anglin, they inevitably say and do things that reduce their status in the eyes of the public. Don’t be that guy and don’t be the guy standing next to Anglin.

Lessons From The Bear

For the last few years, the American ruling class has been obsessed with Russia. The Bear Scare in DC over Trump’s alleged ties to Putin is just one ridiculous element to the obsession.  At some level, even the dullards in the media know it is nonsense, but the Cloud People are convinced that the public shares their hatred of the Russians. China and Israel are much more involved in our elections, but they are not suitable bogeymen, in the minds of our betters. To them, the Russians are the scariest of scary monsters.

The Russia-Trump story is just a sideshow, of course. The neocon insistence that we start World War 3 over Ukraine is much more representative of the ruling elite’s hatred for the Russians. Steve Sailer has done yeoman’s work documenting the neocon warmonger’s efforts to stoke the fires of Russophobia. It’s not just the neocons. The Left has gone down a similar path, accusing Putin of being the new Hitler and claiming he has plans to invade Europe. The public face of the ruling elite is sure that Putin is very bad.

Of course, this enmity toward Putin has had the strange effect of endearing him to many nationalists in America, especially the younger ones. Their minds are not tainted by memories of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Putin just looks like a strong leader, who embodies many of the qualities the alt-right types admire. Then you have old paleocons like Pat Buchanan defending Putin, mostly because of old scars from warring with the neocons in the olden thymes. This just encourages the neocons to hate Putin even more.

Guys like Steve Sailer try to pin the cause of this irrational hatred for Putin and the Russians on ancient ethnic grudges. It is true that all of the high profile Putin haters fit a certain ethnic profile. They also look a lot like the crew that tumbles out of the anti-Trump clown car whenever is screeches to a halt. It is not unfair to accuse these folks of being haunted by the hoof beats of Tzar Alexander’s men. The neocons were, after all, the ideological force behind the Right’s Cold War strategy for a reason.

That makes for a fun narrative and good way to taunt some of the more unhinged types like Bill Kristol and Max Boot, but it does not explain why the political class is uniformly anti-Russian. John McCain is nuts, but he is not looking under his bed for Cossacks at night. The same goes for most of the permanent war party in Washington. They would much prefer to be killing Muslims, but they have found it necessary to spend a lot of time going on about the threat of Putin and the Russian menace.

Another possibility is a much less mystical one. Instead of epigenetic fear of a pogrom, perhaps the source of this great fear is much higher, in the billionaire class that rules the nation through the political parties. After the fall of the Soviet Empire, Western bankers rushed in to loot Russia and her former client states. Eventually, the locals rallied and a class of oligarchs rose up to seize control the assets and build their own power bases outside the state. Then Putin came along and broke the backs of the oligarchs.

If you are a Sergey Brin, for example, the one thing that keeps you up at night is the thought of the state reasserting its authority over the oligarchs. Not that Trump is going to throw Mark Zuckerberg into prison or have Tim Cook sent to Siberia. The possibility of a modern Teddy Roosevelt, riding a populist message, promising to bring the billionaires to heel, is a realistic threat. Incentivizing the political class to demonize such talk is one way to hedge against that possibility. In that regard, Russian makes for a useful enemy.

It also makes Putin, and to a lesser degree the Visegrad Group, dangerous example. It’s not just their nationalism that bugs our oligarchs. Its that these countries cling to the outdated notion of state power being supreme. Our oligarchs, as we see with Big Tech’s efforts to subvert free speech, think the idea of the state is outdated. Instead, the new managerial state is supranational and subordinate to the people who finance it. The managerial state is to serve the oligarchs, not the people over whom it rules.

It’s probably why the political class made such a huge deal out of Putin cracking down on homosexual agitators and feminist nutters. They were looking for a way to undermine his moral authority. In a better age, politicians would accuse enemies of preferring the company of men. In this degraded age, politicians accuse their enemies of being sexually normal. Regardless, the point is to make the bad guys appear villainous and outside the bounds of human decency. Our politicians are the model our rulers prefer.

The least talked about aspect to all of this is that the West, particularly America, is probable less internally stable than Russian and the Visegrad Group. You don’t hear about widespread protests or dissident movements in Russia. The people of the Visegrad are pretty happy with their nationalistic politicians. They like having a patriotic ruling class. It is the West where we see the increasing use of coercion and top-down subversion, in the form of immigration, in order to keep the plates spinning.

The trouble for our oligarchs is that people will be loyal to a man or a cause. They will not be loyal to a committee. That’s why there are no monuments to committees. There are plenty of statues of great men and shrines to the gods. That’s the lesson the old eastern bloc countries learned. They were ruled by committees for a long time. To maintain order, it required men with guns and willingness to use them. The people of the East learned that a man on horse is a better choice than ten men behind desks.

That’s a lesson we’re about to learn in the West.

Total Information War

The wars that brought to a close the feudal period in Europe started as feudal wars, but ended as national wars. Taking the 14th century as the start of the Late Middle Ages, The Hundred Years’ War would be the start of that end phase. It began as a war between kings, leading armies of conscripts and mercenaries of various ethnicities. By the end, it was a war between two nations, fought by the people of those two nations. It is why most historians point to this as the beginning of the nation-state in Europe.

Similarly, the Thirty Years’ War started as a war of religion, among the smaller states that comprised the Holy Roman Empire. By the end, it was a war fought by nations, carving up central Europe. More important, the defining characteristic of people would not be their king or their religion, but their nation. By the time we get to the Napoleonic Wars, nations were mobilizing their people around love of country, not loyalty to a king. War had evolved to match the new social arrangements brought on by new economic arrangements.

The point here is that wars eventually reflect the age in which they are fought. At the start of the Great War, the French were still using the cavalry charge. They had their line officers wearing brightly colored uniforms so they were easy to spot. The Maxim gun put an end to those old tactics and by the end of the war, both sides were fully employing the weapons and tactics of the industrial age. In many respects, the Second World War was the perfection of the lessons learned in the first industrial age war.

It is not a perfect framing, but a useful one, when thinking about the current crisis and the inevitable wars that will come. Ours is the information age, so the wars will be information wars, especially the civil wars. The corruption of the internet by global corporations on behalf of the emerging global elite is an obvious example. In fact, the corruption of the registrars by companies like Google should be read as a phase change in the information war. The globalists have moved onto a new tactic, as the old tactics have failed.

That is an important aspect here. Up until recently, the Progs had a monopoly on our cultural morality. Labeling someone or something as racist or fascist, was enough to sideline that person or idea. The general public was willing to take their word for it and play along. Now, our Progressive rulers find themselves facing an increasingly skeptical public. Merely calling someone racist or fascist is not enough. That’s why they are moving on to using the blunt force of raw power against threats to their authority.

Now, it is entirely possible that Anglin reported himself to the registrar of Gab, in order to generate attention for himself. He faked the hacking of his site as a publicity stunt. Anglin is a nihilistic provocateur, but he is also just a sideshow. What matters is that we have an extra-judicial set of entities that can regulate political speech on-line. The mere fact that these companies can censor speech on-line, based on their whim or in response to pressure brought by the state, is a serious problem for civilized society.

This is, morally, no different than the decision by the Germans to use poison gas in the Great War. Once it was clear that their conventional weapons were not enough, they made the choice to throw off any moral limits to waging war. That’s what is going on with Big Tech, at the behest of our rulers. In America, speech is considered sacred. Everyone alive has grown up hearing the line about giving your life to defend the right of someone to say offensive things in public. The First Amendment, broadly understood, is sacred.

Our rulers have decided they must abandon that principle.

The response from the dissidents, to the attack on speech by Big Tech, has been an effort to create separate platforms. Gab is an alternative social media platform and others are now in the works. A parallel internet is slowly starting to sprout up with people looking into creating new registrars, new search engines and new funding mechanisms. It is a slow process, and as the attack on Gab shows, one that will be met with escalating attacks from Silicon Valley. We are into a total information war now.

Alt-tech is a defensive response, like the trench was in the Great War. The good guys need weapons to damage the other side’s lines. That will come in time. The old order no longer makes a lot of sense, so it can only be held together by force. The people in charge feel they need to use any means necessary, even if it means squandering what little moral authority they have left. Put another way, they no longer care if we respect them, just as long as we fear them. They’ll choose tyranny if that’s what it takes to remain in control.

That’s why it is important to not follow guys like Andrew Anglin or Chris Cantwell down the rabbit hole. Anglin, to a limited degree, is useful. His site being zapped provides a chance for our side to grab the moral high ground, even if he is mostly a moron. Cantwell is just a sad sack, who should never be encouraged. He makes resistance look bad. This is an information war. Impressions, narratives and imagery are the weapons of this war. Defending reckless lunatics or feckless trouble makers just hands the other side ammo.

When the Germans moved to the use of gas, it was a sign of weakness. When they unleashed unlimited submarine warfare, it was a sign they were scared. Desperate people reach for any weapon that is handy, regardless of the results. That’s our ruling class. They are losing the information war so they seek to reshape the battlefield by shutting off the dissidents from having access to the battlefield. It’s a sign of weakness that they are willing to squander their moral authority. It’s also a sign that they are losing.

The Lost Boys

I suspect most people who read blogs like this get their news and commentary from alternative sources, rather than conventional outlets. People in our thing still watch the cable shows on occasion and drift over to mainstream news sites, but more as visitors than partisans. Listening to a guy like Sean Hannity rant about how the Democrats are the real racists is uninteresting. The old Red Team versus Blue Team stuff is no longer relevant to the sort of people reading sites like this one.  Our politics is outside that stuff.

The few times a month I bother to scan National Review, I feel the same way as when I watch a B-movie from the 1980’s. Yeah, it reminds me of that time I got to second base with Sally Sugarpants, but the movie is still terrible. Even more so now. Reading one of the bugmen NRO employs to write copy, tub-thump about their principles, I wonder what it must be like to live trapped in amber. Conservative Inc is a Potemkin village, where the people carry on as if nothing has changed since 1984. It’s creepy.

There is a reason, beyond the financial considerations, why these people cling so tenaciously to the past. They have nowhere else to go. They have always lived in a world, whose map is a tiny intellectual zone dominated by the Left. Around it is a blank space labeled “Here Be Monsters.” Even for those who figure out that the old Left-Right paradigm is no longer relevant, their fear of what’s out there has them staggering around on the fringes of the old world, like homeless beggars looking for a place to lie down.

This probably explains some of the Bernie Bros too. They no longer can tolerate Progressive Globalism, but they fear association with the Right, so they have staggered over to 19th century socialism. They don’t really embrace Bernie Sanders or his anachronistic politics, but they have nowhere else to go. It’s a form of populism they can embrace, without changing parties and supporting Trump. The Bernie Movement is just a convenient doorway for them to sleep in while the world sorts itself out.

My sense is libertarians got a boost in the 90’s and 2000’s when Gen X and Millennial males decided that Clinton degeneracy and Bush stupidity were not their bag. Libertarianism was a safe place to hide. On the one hand, it allowed for mocking of the Left, but it also allowed for a rejection of Bush-style conservatism.  The reason libertarianism is now collapsing is that so many of those folks have made the trip over to the Dissident Right. Most of the alt-right is former libertarians, for example.

Still, there are a lot of people who broke with conventional conservatism in the Bush years, but remain lost in the wilderness. Rod Dreher and the people at American Conservative are good examples. A guy like Dreher gets that people like D’Souza are venal grifters and neocons like Jeff Flake are clueless airheads. He gets, to some degree, why Trump resonates with whites. The trouble is he remains stuck in that old Progressive paradigm, where politics is a binary world of Left versus Right.

The center remains to be grabbed by a politician (or political party) that can move to the left on economics while either moving to the right on social issues, or at least making a firm stand against the loony leftism that has taken over the Democratic Party. A tolerably center-right party would not necessarily campaign for socially conservative initiatives, but it would stop using the federal government to push the causes of the progressive fringes.

This is complete nonsense that only makes sense if you refuse to acknowledge the last 25 years of political history. He’s basically describing a less personally degenerate version of Clinton or a less violent version of Bush. In other words, unable to consider any of the areas outside the well mapped safe zones of conventional politics, lost souls like Dreher stagger around reinventing the same stuff over and over, with decreasing levels of enthusiasm. Even these so-called centrists get tired of the same gruel.

Dreher is not an exception. There are lots of people who find themselves wandering around unfamiliar terrain, but relying on the same old maps they got in the 1980’s. They are like people transported from that era, wearing thin ties and listening to Flock of Seagulls on their Walkman, baffled by the sites and sounds of the current age. They know the world has changed and is changing rapidly all around them, but they stubbornly cling to what they know, mostly out of fear of those monsters on the map.

As I’m fond of pointing out, a political map devised by 18th century radicals has little value today. The spectrum with Right at one end and Left on the other no longer exists. The political map is now ideological spheres that do not overlap in most cases. Where they do overlap is in the area of public policy and not ideology. You are either in the ideological camp based in biological realism or you are in the camp that embraces the blank slate and egalitarianism. If you reject both, you are a lost boy, staggering around in the darkness.

That’s the challenge for our team. The blank slate is taking on water, but that does not mean their members will rush to the life boats of the Dissident Right. As I pointed out in the most recent podcast, bringing these people out of the darkness is a slow process. They first have to come to terms with the fact that their political map is no more useful than a map of America from the age of sail. Of course, it also means punching holes in the old paradigm, making it hard for guys like Dreher to cling to those moderate fantasies.

The Corrupt Midget

News brings word that the pint sized pundit, Ben Shapiro, is going to Berkeley to give a another speech. Judging by his twitter activity, he is hoping it will attract Antifa and be shut down by the city. It’s hard to know exactly. He could also be playing it the other way, hoping the event goes off without a problem. That way, he can blame the growing army to his right for the recent crackdown of speech by our masters. Like all of the boys and girls who color inside the lines, Shapiro needs to believe safety is a virtue.

Either way, this stunt is just that, a stunt to draw attention to himself, as well as an effort to re-establish his brand of Progressive punditry, as the extreme edge of acceptable. Calling Shapiro a Progressive may strike some people as weird, but that’s the truth of it. He embraces all of the blank slate arguments of the Left. He takes, as a given, that the Left’s moral framework is the default for society. You see that in his twitter rants about the alt-right. Shapiro is a man of the Left, just the lagging edge of it.

Shapiro is a also a notorious pen for hire, a guy who will say anything if you write a big enough check. He used to say nice things about Trump and the issues that Trump is now championing. Then the Wilks brothers hired him to be an anti-Trump loon, so he went full-on NeverTrump last year. Now that there is money to be made on the Trump train, Shapiro and all the other faux right-wing grifters have got on-board with Trump. One gets the sense that if Antifa writes him a check, he could be persuaded to support communism.

Of course, as that Charles Johnson piece reminds us, Shapiro was in on the Michelle Fields hoax a year ago. For those who have forgotten, she claimed to have been assaulted by a Trump campaign staffer at an event. Shapiro and several other fake conservatives demanded Trump quit the campaign over it. Shapiro even quit Breitbart over it, coincidentally just when the Wilks brothers check cleared. Video later revealed that the staffer in question merely brushed past Fields and she had been lying.

That’s the thing about our chattering classes. They are never called to answer for their perfidy. Fields still gets on TV as a pundit, despite having been exposed as something of a sociopath. Shapiro was never pressed to explain his role in that affair. National Review is happy to give him a platform, as no doubt the Wilks brothers are stroking checks to them too. There’s little doubt that Sloppy Williamson was paid to write those insane anti-Trump columns last year. Even by his standards, they were a cornucopia of crack-pottery.

Since Charlottesville, Shapiro has been taking every opportunity to condemn the alt-right and you see that in the linked twitter rant. The game he is playing is the moral equivalence strategy. He keeps equating the alt-right with Antifa, comparing what you don’t see, with what you do see. People hear about the alt-right, but they see black clad lunatics toppling over statues and smashing windows in street riots. Chad and Stacey out in the suburbs can be forgiven for confusing the two and condemning both.

That’s the role guys like Shapiro play for the Left. These so-called conservatives happily define the boundaries between what is and what is not acceptable on the Right. He and his fellow pens-for-hire are the palace guard, defining the outer boundary of the political Right. It’s why they are more worked up over the alt-right than the violent left-wing mobs of Antifa. The former is a real threat to their position, while the latter is good for selling books no one will read and building their media brand.

The other angle Shapiro is working is the flattery scam. He invests a lot of time and effort in presenting himself as the thinking man’s right-winger. That in itself reveals something about him. His appeal is that smart normies can feel like intellectuals because they listen to Ben Shapiro. The fact that he can say he supports free speech and in the same thread condemn the speech of everyone to his Right reveals him to be a pseudo-intellectual moral nullity. He’s an obsequious rumpswab, who will say anything for a buck.

It is just another example of the corruption of the Official Right™. They may as well be actors, hired by the Left to play a role in the Prog political drama. They will never bite the hand that feeds them. It’s why they are falling all over themselves to signal to the Left that they are perfectly OK with cracking down on dissident speech. It’s not about ideology. It is about the paycheck. If the boundary of the Right gets pushed out, guys like Shapiro are no longer useful. It’s why their guns are always pointed at us, rather than the Left.

Alt-Jew

Someone contacted me the other day saying they were starting a site called Alt-Jew and he wanted to know if I knew any right-wing Jews that would be interested. You never know about these things. It could have been a terrorist organization trying to get some names of people they could terrorize. Anyone can register a website. Well, not anyone, thanks to terrorist groups like the SPLC and ADL. Still, you never can be sure about these things. The Reagan Battalion was an elaborate Soros fraud.

Regardless, it provides a reason to write about a subject that gets zero attention. That is the schism among American Jews, one that is looking a little bit like the divide within the white world. There are a growing number of right-wing Jews, who are wondering if liberal Jews are bad for Jews. It’s not just politically, but culturally and racially. They look around at the demographics in America and see greater out-marriage, lower birth rates and the telltale signs of assimilation and secularization.

Anyone who has engaged with Orthodox Jews knows they regard Liberal Jews with a high degree of hostility. They are not as bad as the Hasidim, but they view Reformed Jews as fakers, getting the benefits of being Jewish without the commitment. Their relatively small numbers have made them easy to ignore, but demographics are changing quickly. Orthodox are 10% of American Jews and a full decade younger than the median age of Reformed Jews. They also have many more children per female.

Now, the Orthodox are famously ethnocentric. They also vote for conservative white candidates in elections. When it comes to identity politics, the Orthodox favor it over consensus. They may not be talking about ethno-states and separatism, but their revealed preferences run strongly in that direction. Like the Amish though, their numbers will only grow the old fashioned way. They don’t recruit so they don’t attract a lot of converts. Talk to anyone who has converted and they will tell you it is a long and challenging process.

There’s another division, somewhat related to the Orthodox movement, and that is the Chabad movement. Here’s a Globe story from two years ago and a Forward story from last year for some background. One of the unique things about Chabad is they recruit and do so aggressively. They even recruit gentiles. I’ve had them put the arm on me more than once, even though they know I’m not a Jew. President Trump’s son-in-law and daughter are Chabad. Joel Pollak, the Breitbart big shot, is Chabad. This is not an accident.

As that Globe story makes clear, the Chabad movement is a curious thing. On the one hand, they are Orthodox, which puts them culturally to the right of most people and way to the Right of most Jews. On the other hand, they seem to be following the model of the early Christian church by letting converts ease into the life. Jared Kushner is not growing a beard and wearing all black anytime soon. It’s hard not to think that they are first concerned with growing the movement. They’ll worry about discipline later.

There’s another piece to the puzzle. There are Conservative Jews who make up about 20% of American Jewry. These are the folks you will not only see filtering into the Chabad movement, but also on the fringes of the alt-right. They may or may not consider themselves white, but either way, they are fine with white identity politics. They think multiculturalism is madness. It’s not just madness for Jews, but for everyone. Diversity is a cancer to be avoided. These are folks who would be called Alt-Jew.

The number of Conservative Jews sympathetic to the alt-right is debatable, depending upon how you define the terms. There are quite a few Jews supporting Jared Taylor’s work at American Renaissance. I correspond with maybe half a dozen Conservative Jews who share my politics. They think their numbers are growing as Jews in America come to terms with the failings of liberalism and reformed Judaism. To use a phrase I picked up at AmRen, these are Jews who are religious, if not spiritual.

None of this means that Jews are suddenly going to lift Richard Spencer up and carry him to the throne of the ethno-state. It just means that demographics and shifting politics spare no one. Liberal Jews are old and not particularly fertile. Orthodox Jews are young and extremely fertile. Conservative Jews fall somewhere in between, but probably represent a much more practical alternative for American Jews who wish to remain American and Jewish. In a majority-minority world, everyone is going to have to pick sides.

For a distinct minority, it will also mean a return to strict ethnic solidarity. That means policing stuff like this that only serves to encourage the worst response from other groups in the population. Whether or not that happens or how it plays out is a mystery, but what is certain is that in the future, everyone will be voting their skin. That’s how multiculturalism works. There’s no place for modern liberalism, much less liberal Judaism, in a world of identity politics. Alt-Jew may be the only way forward for Jews in America.